Kathmandu experienced a general strike (popularly known as “banda”- closure) today after a long time. I tweeted my thoughts about the strike. I present those tweets (in reverse chronological order) here for my record. I spent a couple of early hours of the day talking to two Maoist lawmakers- one of them was too shy to speak words, he communicated mostly by moving his head- and a Maoist journalist at the residence of one of the CA members and the journalist. The banda was withdrawn sometime around 3 pm which meant that I could go home in a public vehicle like I always do.
And this tweeply:
The person tweet-mentioned me, after reading my tweets, that I would get habitual with the bandas soon. I said: It’s not that I haven’t been habituated [with the banda culture]. There could be no Nepali who is not habituated with the banda.
Related: Nepal Banda and Power Cut
By Dinesh Wagle
This is part of an article that appeared on today’s Op-Ed of the Kahtmandu Post. The other part is here. The complete article in PDF is here.
In my five-month-long stay in Delhi, I almost missed two things in particular about Kathmandu. 1. Why no bandas here? 2. Why no power cuts?
I was back in Nepal for a week recently and experienced both in ways that were in no way enjoyable.
A colleague at Kantipur told me about the banda the next day as I reached the office in the evening after booking a nonrefundable ticket with Buddha Air. I was destined to get stranded in Biratnagar (from where I planned to reach Delhi via Darjeeling). I thought, okay, a day of banda has become a non-issue for many of us these days, so I’ll take it. It’s like only a couple of hours of power outage a day. But eastern Nepal has become a hotbed of protests of all kinds. So my sixth sense and my colleagues at the Biratnagar office were saying that there might be another sudden banda or disturbance on the East-West Highway the next day as well. Continue reading